A family trip to Africa is something that should be done at least once in a lifetime. It's a tremendous privilege to enjoy the youngest members of the family's first safari and, at the same time, for them to share it with their grandparents.
What better country than Kenya for a first safari experience? Kenya offers us a variety of conservation areas in a single destination, where a wide range of activities can be enjoyed with complete privacy. It features the most fascinating national parks teeming with abundant wildlife, exclusive and unique accommodations, and untamed beaches.
Jambo, Kenya! Landing at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi before heading to Wilson, the airstrip in the heart of the capital, is always the beginning of a grand adventure.
On this occasion, we visited Loisaba, a conservation area located in Laikipia, in the northern part of the country. Accessing it by plane is an experience in itself. Flying over Kenya and marveling at its landscapes from a bird's-eye view is the best possible introduction.
From the moment you set foot on the ground, you're aware that you're in a magical and unique place.
Every second must be cherished, and that's exactly what we did: from 4x4 safaris to visiting a Samburu village, including a camelback safari, and learning about the work of the anti-poaching patrol and their tracking dogs, who ensure that this paradise remains so in the future.
Of course, there's always time to enjoy sundowners, that drink savored in a carefully chosen spot as the sun sets, and the African sky displays indescribable and irreplicable colors.
After three nights at Loisaba, it's time to head to the Maasai Mara, perhaps Africa's most iconic park, with its endless savannahs dotted with acacia trees and likely hosting the highest concentration of wildlife on the entire continent.
Once again, we flew over the country, this time from north to south, and landed after catching a fleeting glimpse of the Mara River. Francis and James awaited us with charming smiles, ready to share the following days with us and show us this paradise down to the finest details. Our guides' knowledge seemed nearly infinite, and we put it to the test!
A stay in Maasai Mara is always centered around wildlife and the privilege of spending time with families of lions, buffaloes, solitary cheetahs, massive herds of wildebeests, zebras, or topis, as well as elephants, giraffes, or hyenas. It's incredibly exciting to witness the interaction between different animals.
It's incredibly exciting to witness the interaction between different animals.
We were all eager to visit a local school and see a reality very different from our own – we loved it! We also greatly enjoyed learning more about the Maasai, witnessing their ancestral fire-making techniques, and attempting (with limited success) to compete in archery.
After a somewhat restless final night, the elephants decided that the most delicious grass on the savannah was right next to our tent – it was time to continue our journey to the last stop: Diani Beach. Once again, we flew over Kenya, this time from west to east, from the Maasai Mara savannah to the Indian Ocean. We embarked on a spectacular final morning safari and spent the afternoon immersed in the warm waters of the Kenyan coast.
There's no better ending to a family safari than the relaxation of an exclusive private villa by the seaside, tastefully decorated and offering dreamlike service. Time to savor the freshest fish and seafood, sail on ngalawas (traditional boats), snorkel from secluded sandbanks, take walks on the endless beach, or indulge in some last-minute shopping. Undoubtedly, enjoying our villa with its exquisite cuisine, relaxing massages, and magical views was one of the best options.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and we flew back to Nairobi. However, we had time in the capital for a delightful farewell lunch at our favorite restaurant before boarding our return flight home, laden with memories that will last forever in our hearts.